FBI honors NFL player Kealoha Pilares for his donation - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

FBI honors NFL player Kealoha Pilares for his donation

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

By: Kaitlin Kogachi

Kealoha Pilares was honored Tuesday for his donation to the National Child Identification Program at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building. Pilares, despite his young age, wasted no time in giving back to the community by sponsoring 5,000 child identification kits.

Vida Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu office of the FBI, commended Pilares for his outstanding contribution. "From our perspective, Kealoha is a solid member of our community. He stands tall as a role model for our Hawaii youth. Kealoha is a man who has not abandoned his local roots, and he puts his money where his mouth is," said Bottom. Because the program is completely funded by private donations, contributions like the one Pilares made are responsible for the program's success.

The American Football Coaches Association started the National Child Identification Program in 1997 with the goal of reducing the missing children statistics in the United States. The Association created an FBI-approved Child ID Kit for families to collect their child's specific characteristics, including DNA and fingerprints. The kits are safely kept at home, and in the event of a missing child, law enforcement agencies have access to vital information that greatly enhances their investigation. In 2001, the FBI became an official partner of the program.

Pilares was awarded a certificate signed by the FBI Director for exceptional service in the public interest. Pilares thanked the program for giving him the opportunity to give back to his community. "It's definitely a blessing. I'm especially thankful, and this is a special day for me. Growing up, I always wanted to give back to the community, no matter what it was," said Pilares.

Pilares is currently a wide receiver and kickoff returner for the Carolina Panthers in the National Football League. Pilares also graduated from the University of Hawaii and Damien Memorial High School.

The child identification kits donated by Pilares will be distributed to Hawaii families during sporting events in the upcoming month. 

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